$250 million Ferentino tyre factory opens in Sri Lanka
Ferentino Tyre Corporation’s Horana, Sri Lanka tyre factory was officially opened by Sri Lankan president Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 14 January 2021. The facility was constructed with an investment of US$250 million and can reportedly produce 2.4 million tyres annually. Tyres made at the Ferentino factory will cross a number of sectors including radial car, SUV, bicycle and even three-wheelers. These include a “Mythos” product line reminiscent of the Marangoni passenger car tyre range previously produced in the same place (see below). Of the 2.4 million tyres produced annually at the Ferentino factory in this phase, 80 per cent are destined for export markets. A second phase is scheduled to be completed in March 2022.
Sailun boosting Vietnam production to meet demand in Europe & North America
During today’s extraordinary shareholders meeting, its first of 2021, Sailun Group confirmed plans for the third phase of expansion at its wholly-owned Sailun (Vietnam) Co., Ltd. subsidiary. Over a three-year period, the company will invest 3.01 billion yuan (£340.1 million) to equip the site with the capacities to produce 3 million car and light commercial vehicle tyres, one million truck and bus radials, and 50,000 tons of off-the-road tyres per annum.
Bridgestone restructuring manufacturing footprint, investing in Solutions to create ‘leaner’ company
Outlining Bridgestone Corporation’s Mid-Long Term Business Strategy on 22 December, chief executive officer Shu Ishibashi spoke of the company’s plans through to 2023. The immediate priority has been to implement crisis management measures to address the impact of COVID-19; Bridgestone began implementing these in 2020, and the measures extend into this year. Beyond this, Bridgestone will work to rebuild earning power within the core Tire & Rubber business.
Bridgestone to offer customised retreads as part of fleet subscription model
Retreading solutions lie at the heart of Bridgestone Corporation’s new Sustainability Business Framework. Announcing details of the framework’s “retread centric model”, chief executive officer Shu Ishibashi shares that the tyre maker plans to utilise tyre monitoring technologies in order to offer customised retreads via a subscription model.
Bridgestone’s CES 2021 exhibit presents a fittingly virtual exhibit this year. During the tech-focused US Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which has been held virtually this year from 11-14 January 2021, Bridgestone is presenting its Bridgestone World interactive virtual city will allow users to explore the company’s advanced solutions and data-driven mobility services. Live and on-demand showcases will examine how the company is using smart tyre technology, advanced data analytics and new business models to put tyres at the centre of a more sustainable mobility system.
Nokian Heavy Tyres is once again celebrating an important achievement – an entire year without the occurrence of occupational accidents that led to absence. praises Marko Oksanen, production engineer for Nokian Heavy Tyres, describes an accident-free 2020 as “an extremely important milestone” that the workforce has achieved together.
Bridgestone optimising rubber yields with big data
According to OECD estimates, the world will be home to more than 2.4 billion cars by 2050, around a billion more than exist today. This significant rise in the global vehicle parc will result in much higher demand for the raw materials needed to manufacture tyres. Bridgestone has turned to big data to help optimise rubber yields, and reports developing a system that leads to higher long-term yields.
Shortly before Christmas, Rema Tip Top shared the sad news that Andy Homer passed away on 17 December, aged just 56. Derek Myers, managing director of Rema Tip Top Automotive South Africa, wrote that as well as being lovingly remembered by his son and family, Andy “will also forever be remembered by his numerous extended families, business colleagues and dear friends.”
ZC Rubber’s “remarkable” 2020, new products & digital strategy
Good news stories have been thin on the ground of late, but when ZC Rubber describes 2020 as a “remarkable year,” it means it in the very best sense of the word. The tyre maker elaborated on why the previous 12 months were so positive at its China Distributors Conference, which took place on 30 December. As well looking back on its achievements, ZC Rubber presented its vision for further digital innovation and gave a sneak preview of products arriving in 2021.
Chinese wheelmaker opens second production line in Morocco
Aluminium casting and automotive parts specialist, Citic Dicastal kicked off production at its second aluminium wheel factory in Morocco at the end of December 2020. With a budget of 350 million euros, the Chinese wheelmaker aims to double its capacity in Morocco to 6 million wheels and create a total of 1,250 jobs. According to local news reports, the Dicastal-made wheels are destined for vehicles made by the French OEM PSA Group as well as exports.
LafargeHolcim confirms it will buy Firestone Building Products in US$3.4 billion deal
The world’s largest cement maker, LafargeHolcim, has confirmed that it will buy Firestone Building Products from Bridgestone Americas in a US$3.4 billion deal. The sale is designed to enable Bridgestone to “strengthen investments in company’s tyre business and fast-growing mobility solutions business”, according to an official statement.
Michelin has announced its intention to “evolve” its activities in its France by means of a three-year competitiveness plan covering all of its manufacturing, corporate and administrative operations within the country. The company is taking this step as a response to “profound, structural shifts in the global tyre market” over the past decade that have been “led by the massive influx of low-cost products.” The plan could see up to 2,300 of the 20,000 Michelin jobs in France cut over the coming three years.
Following a name change approved on 29 December 2020, Hankook Technology Group – the holding company of Hankook Tire & Technology – is now known as Hankook & Company. By retitling this entity, Hankook says it aims to leverage its affiliates’ brand awareness and create synergies.